Cactus scientists offer insights to solve future global agricultural challenges

July 6, 2015, Wiley

Researchers have provided a new roadmap for tackling future agricultural production issues by using solutions that involve crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM), a specialized type of photosynthesis that enhances the efficiency by which plants use water.

Plants that use CAM, which include cacti and agave, are typically found in . Increasing to accommodate society's growing population might be achieved by developing CAM crops as new sources for food, feed, fiber, and bioenergy or by engineering non-CAM crops to use CAM strategies to improve their water use efficiency and yield.

"CAM research is an emerging scientific discipline with tremendous potential for applications, and it attracts growing interest from both academia and industry. This roadmap is a result of collective work by CAM researchers around the world," said Dr. Xiaohan Yang, lead author of the New Phytologist article. "It could serve as a blueprint for future collaborative research to realize the potential of CAM and will likely lead to increased funding opportunities for CAM research."

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More information: DOI: 10.1111/nph.13393

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Iochroma
not rated yet Jul 07, 2015
No way this could be done without genetic modification. The barriers to naturally breeding this set of genes into food plants are too great. Does the world want more GMO crops?
There are very few plants that have CAM and produce an edible crop. Why not concentrate on improving those NATURALLY...

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